AURORA – With support of State Senator Karina Villa, the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics received $4.5 million in state grants at Aurora Christian Healthcare on March 25.
“Everyone deserves access to quality and affordable health care. Free and Charitable Clinics are essential to providing care for those who are uninsured in our state,” said Villa (D-West Chicago), who sponsored the original bill for the grant. “The services of these clinics are invaluable, ranging from medical and behavioral health to dental care services. I am proud to see they are receiving the funding they deserve.”
The Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics improves access to quality health care for uninsured and underinsured individuals by strengthening clinics through partnerships, education and advocacy. There are 52 IAFCC clinics in the state, which rely heavily on volunteers and donations. Last year, they served over 40,859 people, 78% of whom identified as people of color, including more than 23,000 who identified as Latinx.
Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza presented the payment at Aurora Christian Healthcare, which has provided free dental and chiropractic care to adults who do not have insurance or cannot afford such care. The clinic was founded in May 2021 by volunteers after a previous clinic, Mission Possible, closed after 12 years of service. Aurora Christian Healthcare is fully funded by donations and grants and predominantly serves Latino Spanish-speaking patients.
“Aurora Christian Healthcare is an invaluable asset to our community,” said Villa. “Health care is a basic human right, and this clinic, along with all IAFCC clinics, are doing their part to make our state a better place to live.”
This is the first half of a $9 million grant for the clinics. Aurora Christian Healthcare will use their funds to purchase a used, genuine chiropractic table, fit several of their clients with dental splints, help fix flood damage and take advantage of other opportunities such as a CFFV grant for technology upgrades, which requires advance payment.
Those interested in volunteering at Aurora Christian Healthcare can visit their website here.